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We’ve all heard of ageing rockers taking the stage to relive their former glory; whether it’s Paul McCartney, ACDC or the Rolling Stones, it’s not an uncommon site to see age-weathered superstars show (or in some cases try to show) they can still cut it in the musical arena. The list of bands who have split up and got back together, reformed with different members or just decided to pick up their instruments again after a prolonged break goes on and on – we featured Leonard Cohen’s live show at the O2 recently, and Fleetwood Mac have also been gigging again (albeit with a slightly different line up), but rather than feature the obvious inclusions in the ageing rocker category, here’s a list of 6 British brands you might not have realized are still playing: 1. Echo and the BunnymenEcho and the Bunnymen split up for quite a while, during which time their drummer Pete De Freitas sadly passed away in a road accident. However the band originally reformed without singer Ian McCulloch before a full reunion took place and the band have been going ever since (although bassist Les Pattinson has subsequently left). The video above shows the great British rockers performing Lips Like Sugar live in Belgium just last year, and you have to say they’ve clearly still got it, despite looking a little worse for wear. 2. The StranglersThey may not have their original guitarist Hugh Cornwell, who left the band back in 1990, but The Stranglers carried on without him and have been gigging ever since. In fact, they’ve been playing longer without Hugh than they did with him in the band. The video above is the band performing the appropriately named ‘hanging around’ live at Rock Im Park in 2012, and they’re still doing a great job (despite Jet not being on drums in this video due to an illness at the time). 3. SqueezeYep, Squeeze are very much still going, and as the amateur video above from San Diego last year shows, they’re still superb performers when it comes to live shows. They’ve split up and got back together more times than a LEGO set, but they’re currently still playing live and although the line-up has differed dramatically around the year, the main duo of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook remain, and are still entertaining audiences all over the world. 4. Simple MindsAnother band that seems to stop and then start up again whenever singer Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill get bored of retirement, Simple Minds have seen numerous drummers and bassists through the years but have always featured the core duo of Jim and Charlie. They never seem to be out of action for too long, and are still playing major festivals most summers. The video above shows the band playing to a rather damp but energetic crowd at T In The Park in 2012. 5. Adam and the AntsOK, so strictly speaking this isn’t Adam and the Ants, as it doesn’t feature the rest of the band including, most prominently, guitarist Marco Pironi. Adam Ant himself however is still playing live and touring, playing all the old songs that Adam and the Ants fans have come to love. The video above shows Adam playing Physical (You’re So) at the O2 Academy in Leicester earlier this year. You have to say despite being more than a little eccentric, he’s clearly enjoying himself and still has whatever it is that made him such a star. 6. The Human LeagueFans of The Human League will remember Phil Oakley sacking the other two members of the band and recruiting a bunch of other members, including the now famed backing singer Joanna Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. That passage of the band’s history turned them from arty synthetic three piece to a total pop band, and they’ve been going strong ever since. The video above shows the band performing Don’t You Want Me live at the V Festival in August 2012. They’re clearly still loving the limelight and the crowd are more than happy to see them back on stage, so we can’t imagine they’ll be hanging up the microphones any time soon. Can you think of any bands that people might not know are still going? Seen anyone live recently you thought had entered retirement a long time ago? Let us know in the comments below!
Susan is super passionate about hotels and in a past life was a travel writer and hotel critic. As a Dublin native she also loves everything about the city and wants to share her knowledge on all the best bits.